When I grow-up I want to be a vlogger..
10 years ago that statement would have never been said. Vlogging wasn’t a thing back then but with Youtube exploding onto the scene and social media becoming more prominent in our everyday lives, half of British children are now aspiring to be vloggers or animators.
My own daughter has said to me ‘when I grow up I want to vlog like you mummy’. While it is lovely she wants to step into my shoes I also know the dark side of the internet; the side of trolls, bullying and some seriously disturbed individuals.
For us parents it’s worrying; I for one have felt frightened of my children having access to the internet and the thought of them being active on social media one day fills me with dread. Lets face it most adults struggle to use it responsibly what chance have the kids got!
I am not alone in these concerns with only 11% of mums and dads encourage their children to use technology as a way to develop skills or express their creativity online. Which is such a shame as more and more businesses focus on their digital presence jobs in these kinds of roles are opening up all over the place.
At the weekend the girls and I went up to London’s o2 for an event with o2 and the NSPCC to discus these very fears and address the divide in views that the web has created between children and their parents. The NSPCC and o2 have been working closely together to provide free online resources to help parents approach the subject with confidence and hopefully change their fears of children being online.
As someone who shares their life on the internet I probably sound like a real hypocrite for fearing my children having an online presence one day; for me it’s the unknown that brings these worries. They are they first generation to have such easy access to the internet and only now are we starting to see the negative effects it can bring to those of such a vulnerable age.
After chatting to some of the experts on the day I do feel better equipped when it comes to allowing my children more access as they get older. A lot of it comes down to trust; I want to be able to trust my children and their behaviour online and I want them to be able to trust in me and be able to talk freely if something isn’t quite right or they have concerns.
I was also introduced to the NSPCC site called Net Aware. Any parent who shares similar concerns to me will find this site invaluable. You can type in any app or website and get all the information from age limits to the risks it may bring right in front of your eyes. It’s a great way to research and to be able to start to conversation with your children.
The internet is a wonderful tool, it gives me a career so I can’t begrudge it too much. So many of us take it for granted nowadays. I am glad to see tools and initiatives such as this coming into place to help keep the internet safe for us all.
What do you think about children being active online? Are you confident in their safety?
*Research comes from a survey of 4,000 British people (incl. 2,000 parents and 2,000 children aged 5 – 16 years) carried out by One Poll in November 2017.